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Austin Scholars Logo

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Hello! And welcome to the Austin Community!

Posted by Arielle Salomon

As you all may be discovering, being an Austin means a variety of things—financial support, fireside chats, QT time with Wally and Harry. What I enjoy the most is getting to know everyone—both students and alum—each of whom has a fascinating and impressive story.  We are so excited for you to join us and to learn more about you!

I’ll start off with a bit about me… [STOP READING IF YOU ARE GOING ON KWEST FRANCE!!]

Before Kellogg: I was born and raised in the great state of New Jersey (suburbs of NYC) and went to Penn where I studied psychology, economics and French. During my senior year I took a course on microfinance and was enthralled by the idea that banks could both help people with access to financial services AND make money. That led me to start working at a non-profit, Innovations for Poverty Action, that aims to quantify the real impact of social programs, like microfinance, by using randomized controlled studies (in the WSJ here). Based in DC, I worked with donors and policymakers to find more cost-effective ways to create impact. But after a few years, I was itching for something new and transitioned to a tech start-up, The Entrepreneurial Finance Lab (EFL), which enables banks to expand lending to small business owners with a psychometric credit score (instead of questions about your financial history, EFL asks questions about your honesty and character). I worked with financial institutions in Haiti and India, places where credit information is particularly thin.

Kellogg 1.0: The past year has been a crazy experience—from meeting 1000 new people to trying to interpret financial derivatives to amazing trips. A few of my favorite moments have been:

  • KWEST Bike trip! We spent 4 days biking across the Netherlands (a trip that would only take 4 hours by car…shh)
  • Spring break in Lesotho. I took a class on medical devices in emerging markets and a group of us along with our nutty prof went to Lesotho to conduct market entry research for devices developed here at NW!
  • Road tripping to Detroit with a group of Kellogg students for a trek to learn about the city’s urban revitalization
  • Taking my first sailing lessons at the NW sailing center (…would recommend doing this if you are ever around during the summer when the weather is actually warm…)
  • Running my first half marathon. Kellogg has a Run, Bike, Swim Club which organizes weekly runs, swimming lessons and discounts for races
  • Hosting potlucks, cocktail hours and small group dinners to get to know my classmates better

Summer: I’m flying out to London to work for Bain. Like many other Kellogg kids, I want to do consulting to try on a few different industries/functions for size. I’m also super curious about working at a big private sector company for the first time.  Why London? Why not?  At the end of the summer I’ll be leading KWEST- BIKE FRANCE!!

Kellogg 2.0: Next year, I’m excited to stay involved with Net Impact. I’ll be a peer mentor and will be helping out with consulting interview prep groups.

Favorite Austin Moment: My favorite moment this year was sitting down to a meal with a bunch of Austins after we spent the evening learning to cook at a culinary school in Evanston.

  •     Do you. There’s so much going on at Kellogg, it’s easy to get wrapped up in FOMO (fear of missing out). At the end of the day, you have to prioritize what is most important to you. Don’t forget you can always do your own thing.
  •     Reach out. Find ways to really get to know people beyond the hallway chit chat. I love to connect with people over lunch or exploring Chicago!

  •     Don’t stress. Recruiting alongside a few hundred other students is an interesting social experience. Remember everything will work out and don’t waste your time stressing. Also, grades don’t matter.

Hope you all enjoy your summer and look forward to meeting you soon! Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have questions about anything as you think about moving to good ole E-town!


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